BKB 2019 Value Awards: A story of dedication and trust

Paul Solwane was voted as the BKB employee who truly values the environment. He received the Conserving the Environment award. On his left is Ben Vermooten (CEO: Grain, BKB) and on his right is Wolf Edmayr (former Managing Director, BKB).

In December 2019, several different departments and affiliates of the BKB Group, all from different backgrounds, but with common values, attended the company’s 2019 Value Awards ceremony, which took place at BKB’s head office in Port Elizabeth.

Only dedicated teamwork made it possible to honour the individuals who best embraced BKB’s company values during a year of extraordinary challenges in South Africa’s agricultural sector.

Nico Da Serra from Atlanta Sugar SA (left) enjoyed the event in the company of these BKB-gentlemen: Isak Staats, Dr Cobus Oberholster and Chris Louw.

Celebrating 100 years with pride

BKB has been South Africa’s leading authority on agriculture for the past 100 years. The company employs a dedicated team of proud professionals across various levels of business, who value the importance of understanding what its clients need and when they need it.

The core message relayed during the event was that BKB is a company that has been built on relationships and trust and that its success is securely positioned on the hard work and dedication of all BKB employees.

Award categories

The achievements of colleagues for their exceptional contribution towards the prosperity of BKB were acknowledged in the following categories:

  • Service excellenceThe employee who best endeavours to fulfil his or her daily tasks with a positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile for clients and each other. Winner: Frikkie Landman.
  • Valuing employeesThe employee who goes out of their way to place importance on the people around them, striving to treat clients, colleagues and suppliers with dignity, also encouraging them to grow and help them achieve exceptional levels of performance. Winner: Moricia Mentz.
  • Driving earnings – The employee who knows how to do things differently to help the company operate in a more profitable manner to benefit all stakeholders, including staff, ensuring BKB not only makes money, but also saves money. Winner: Mollie Mentz.
  • Encouraging entrepreneurshipThe employee who adds great value to his or her division by being open to suggestions of new ideas in which BKB can find better and more innovative ways to do things better. A person who is not afraid of change and always looks for new solutions while supporting a culture of constant renewal. Winner: Yolanda Colesky.
  • Conserving the environmentThe employee who truly values the environment and always considers the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities. Someone who gives without selfish motivations, caring for the natural environment, animal welfare, fair labour practices and corporate social responsibility. Winner: Paul Solwane.
Quinten de Ridder was the winner of the Chairman’s Award for Excellence. To his left is Jaco Maass (General Manager: ICT at BKB) and to his right is Chris Louw (Chairman, BKB).

The highlight of the afternoon was the BKB Group’s Chairman’s Award for Excellence. This award shines the limelight on the most outstanding employee achievement across all divisions. It is the most prestigious award made to an individual who makes a difference and achieves purpose through their talent, skills and ingenuity. Chris Louw announced Quinten de Ridder as the winner for 2019.

Au revoir

Finally, André du Toit, General Manager: Livestock & Auctioneering relayed a word of appreciation to Wolf Edmayr for his valuable and indispensable input over the years as BKB’s Managing Director. On an emotional note, Wolf’s closing remarks hit close to home when he thanked everyone at BKB for all their hard work and loyalty, also wishing everyone success, good health and happiness for the future.

Wolf Edmayr (MD) presented the value awards on stage. He was also honoured during a farewell as Managing Director of the BKB Group.

Wolf Edmayr was succeeded by Johan Strumph as BKB’s Managing Director from 1 February 2020. – Carin Venter, AgriOrbit